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Thread: Looking for an item

  1. #1
    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Looking for an item

    Gentlemen,

    Some of you may recall that, about 15 years ago or so, Radio Shack used to sell a cheap-o golden colored Morse code key. I used to have several of them, but have no idea where they could be.

    If anyone of you has one, and would be willing to sell it, I am willing to buy it.

    Please PM me if you have one and wish to sell it.

    Thanks.

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    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    Ebay has over 400 telegraph keys for sale, but none of them are from Radio Shack. (Already did the Radio Shack Telegraph Key search and had 0 results.)
    "Valar morghulis; valar dohaeris."

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    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.56NATO View Post
    Nice site. Thanks!

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    Usually you can find keys and keyers in the misc section there. However, HAMs often ignore the headers and place adds all over regardless if there's a specific section for their item.
    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.56NATO View Post
    Usually you can find keys and keyers in the misc section there. However, HAMs often ignore the headers and place adds all over regardless if there's a specific section for their item.
    Do you have an HF radio?

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    Down to an elderly Icom IC-775DSP.
    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    pictures?

    ive had my licence for 5 years now and still havent been on air once. tried learning morse code a few times but got distracted and never got back to it.

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.56NATO View Post
    Down to an elderly Icom IC-775DSP.
    Elderly? That's a modern transceiver. A nice one. I have a Kenwood TS-590-SG. It's the first radio that I didn't build myself. I used to have a home made 40 meter transmitter that had a 65 watt output using a NOS (new old stock) military surplus JAN-6146W final and 2 other tubes (crystal oscillator and driver for the final). I operated on 7.135 only because the transmitter used an FT-243 type crystal. I picked the FT-243 style because they could be taken apart and frequency changed by grinding. They were a dime-a-dozen due to being war surplus from WW-II. And, two could be plugged into an octal tube socket, making for a clean chassis design.

    I got the crystal at a hamfest and it was at 6.990 MHz (no good to me that way) so I took it apart and patiently, gently ground the crystal element on a Carborundum stone with water. Hertz by hertz, I got that baby all the way up to 7.135, so that was my spot.

    I did sort of cheat years later. I bought two AN-ART-13 military transmitters at the Dayton hamfest and used parts from one to fix the other one. The transmitter was used in a bomber during WW-II and used a dynamotor for power. It used 28 volts for the tube filaments and auto-tune motors, 400 volts for most of the rest and 1500 volts for the transmitter final. I didn't get a dynamotor, so I had to build a power supply. The power supply was in a steel cabinet with casters so it could be moved. It was heavy!

    To start up the power supply, first the 28 volts was turned on. This heated the tube filaments so that they wouldn't be damaged by being put under load with insufficient cathode emission. Then the 400 volt section could be turned on. Then the filaments for the two mercury vapor rectifiers used in the 1500 volt supply had to be warmed up enough so that the mercury was fully vaporized. I would turn on the 866B filaments, then open the back of the cabinet and look at the rectifiers with a flashlight. When all the shiny drops of mercury were gone, the 1500 volt power was turned on and the rectifiers glowed a pretty purple-blue color.

    THEN, finally, the ART-13 could be turned on, tuned up and used. It really was a nice transmitter. I don't know how much power it put out, but I think it wad around 100 or 200 watts. It had a clean signal (no chirp or key clicks) and I got good signal reports from all over USA and Canada.

    It all seems so archaic now... hand ground crystals and tube powered VFO oscillators that drifted more than a drunken driver, hundreds of watts of power just to run the tube filaments and 100+ pound heavy metal cases for everything. No digital direct synthisizers, no high power MOSFETS, no computer controlled antenna tuners. All "stone knives and bearskins" (as Mr. Spock said in "City on the edge of forever" in reference to trying to build a computer out of vacuum tubes).

    Now, my little Kenwood puts out 100 watts, has a temperature controlled crystal reference for the digital VFO that doesn't drift and is nearly as accurate as WWV, small, lightweight and many times the performance of the old Drake, Heathkit, Yaesu, Collins and other old tube powered boat anchors of the 1970's. Built in CW keyer, digital noise filters, automatic tuning, frequency memory, etc... too long of a list.

    But, somehow, it's not the same fun as it used to be. Don't know why. If you want, check me out on qrz.com: https://www.qrz.com/db/wa2sko

    We should figure out a mutually convenient time and try a contact on 40 or 20 meters.

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    Very cool stories on the old tyme gear! Always wanted an art13 because of the heritage and coolness factor but have not found one cheap or local, also there's no way I'd like to listen to a dynamotor for any length of time. When there's 4 pratt and whitney cyclones running within a few yards of your operating position, the whine of a dynamotor isn't a concern is it?

    I have a Collins R388 and R390A here, no home builds but did get my uncle's Heath stuff. He did quality control on nuclear missile and nuclear submarine guidance systems so you know how anal he was on everything, his soldering looked like it grew by design. Well I guess the 775 is a home build of sorts, the place I got it from had it listed at $250, I took some stuff I wasn't using and got it down a bit cheaper.

    This thing looked like it had been dragged behind a golf cart at a hamfest. The case halves were gouged, scraped, rusted in some places. The front panel and knobs were about the same condition. The shop got it in on trade and it worked but had the usual display lights flickering so they sent it off for repair. In shipping it was dropped and the two uhf sockets on back were punched through the case, taking out several relays in the tuner section. Of course the repair shop sent it right back as unrepairable, hence why they only asked 250 for it. So you know these things weighs 37 pounds and shipping something this delicate but heavy is to be taken seriously..

    Replacing the relays and resoldering the transformer that supplies hv to the fluorescent tube in the display got it working again at full output! 200w all bands. These things will do almost 300w if you crank em as they have 28v finals and an internal switching supply.

    Still looked like feinsteins monster however!

    Had the case halves bead blasted and that got it smooth, but the few deep scratches were still menacing. Went to lowes and got some krylon textured spray paint in a dark grey, prepped the surface with some alcohol and let fly, it came out looking far more lovely than I thought it would. It looks like the factory did it, but the factory uses a black powder coating.

    Next up is replacement of the face plate, got one with only a small crack in it cheap, far better than the face it sports now!

    Here's a vid of one in action, not mine by the way;



    Then an alignment and it will be good to go.
    Last edited by 5.56NATO; 05-17-2020 at 02:58 PM.
    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by deth502 View Post
    pictures?

    ive had my licence for 5 years now and still havent been on air once. tried learning morse code a few times but got distracted and never got back to it.
    I hear ya, my ham uncle died, the gang I used to hang out with on hf stopped operating and sold their gear, died, or moved and haven't got their tower back up. Haven't sent anything over the air other than for testing in years now! Gonna get a phone pole placed in the yard for some dipoles and get the dual band v/uf stick up, should be back on the air then in fine business style.
    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by deth502 View Post
    pictures?

    ive had my licence for 5 years now and still havent been on air once. tried learning morse code a few times but got distracted and never got back to it.
    Learning Morse code is difficult to do by yourself. The way that works the best (IMO) is to have a "study buddy". He sends to you, you copy, then swap places.

    To teach someone from scratch, I give them a Morse code listing, then send 1 letter at a time, wait for him to look it up and write it down, then send the next. Very quickly the person starts to recognize some letters and doesn't need to look them up. Then finally, the person recognizes all of them and then all that's needed is practice.

    It's important to use random letters, numbers and punctuations, emphasizing on lesser used characters. This allows the person to learn ALL of them, and prevents "cheating" by recognizing the upcoming word and guessing the rest.

    Past around 25 WPM, copying Morse evolves from recognizing dit-dah patterns to actually having the letter itself pop into the mind. A beginner hears dah dit dah dit and recognizes a "C". At higher speeds, dah dit dah dit MEANS "C" without needing to recognize the pattern, then translate it into the letter.

    Around 25 to 35 WPM, I don't write anything down, because I can't print fast enough. It's as if the person is SAYING each letter directly. At this point, slow code speeds suck because by the time all the letters of all the words in a sentence are sent, I forget the beginning of the sentence! It's as annoying as people who talk slowly and say "uh" and "um" between every few words. Spit it out already!

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.56NATO View Post
    Then an alignment and it will be good to go.
    I can't imagine aligning my Kenwood. It's got dozens of coils, test points, trimmers, etc... plus it would require using tens of thousands of dollars worth of precision, NIST tracable test equipment.

    Cost less to buy a new radio!

    In the good old days, you injected an IF signal into the receiver signal path, tuned 3 or 4 coils for the proper response, then zero beat the tuner with WWV. Simple and easy and all you needed was a small cheap-o signal generator, a VTVM and a non inductive plastic tool to adjust the coils.

    Not anymore.

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by deth502 View Post
    pictures?

    ive had my licence for 5 years now and still havent been on air once. tried learning morse code a few times but got distracted and never got back to it.
    What class license do you have? I got my Advanced class ticket in 1975. Advanced is now obsolete (but still honored), you only get Technician, General or Extra nowadays.

    Now, I'm studying for the Extra class exam. No good reason to do so other than "bragging rights". I don't really care about the tiny slivers of additional band allocation that Extras get. I just want to stick my nose up in the air and say "I'm an EXTRA now".

    Wow things have changed. No more 20 WPM code test and lots of questions on topics that didn't even exist in the 1970's. Getting the Extra back then would have been a bigger accomplishment than getting a new "no code pseudo ham license" is today.

    IMHO, a ham ain't a ham if he doesn't know Morse code.

    Maybe, it's actually better to have a "pre-ban" Advanced class license because it proves that I got the license that required Morse code and therefore is a "real" ham license rather than the new glorified CB style "no code" licenses they issue today.

    VHF, UHF, microwave, packet radio, spread spectrum digital data... BLAH! Give me 40 meters, a CW key and a mug of coffee. Now THAT is fun.

    Yeah, I'm one of those stuck up "holier than thou" old timer "REAL hams"! LOL!

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    To spice things up when trying to learn cw you can always count on the Russian Navy.

    12464 days and 8345 nights are often active with Russian Naval traffic, starts withg a string of Vs, then the call of the shore station, then the call of the ship, then do you copy? (QSA?) do you have anything for me (QTC)? and so on.

    Here's the calls for the shore stas;
    RCV Navy HQ Sevastopol
    REA4 Airforce HQ Moscow
    RIT Navy HQ Severomorsk North Fleet
    RJS Navy HQ Vladivostok
    RIW Navy HQ Moscow
    RMP Navy HQ Kaliningrad


    Copied this example Dec 9th;
    VVV RCV RCV RCV de RCJG RCJG QSA1 QRU K
    RCV ius being called by RCJG, who tells RCV he reads him at strength 1 (QSA1)

    then after the shore sta replies, the ship sent this;
    RCJG N722 RPT AR
    here RCJG is asking RCV to repeat message No 722

    RCJG RPT AA1 AR MO K
    here RCJG is asking RCV to repeat all after 1 (AA1)

    RCV de RCJG N1 772 RPT AR
    apparently RCJG is having a tough time copying

    RCV is Navy HQ Sevastopol, I didn't copy RCV because these guys operate duplex; ships send on one freq, shore on another and I didn't have another receiver tuned to whatever freq RCV is sending on, sadly.
    RCJG is the Ivan Bubnov, a Boris Chilikin class tanker that often accompanies warships in the med and off Syria.
    They use more or less the same Q and Z sigs and hams do, with Z sigs being Navy. Sometimes this stuff is more interesting than copying ham cw. We might not hear warships like the Kuz(netsov) or Peter the Great, but we will hear their escorts like the Bubnov as well as supply ships as they send weather reports back to hq using the same weather reporting format NATO navaies use, including lat and lon posreps. There are over 600 freqs in use on hf by the Russian Navy, hard to keep track opf them all but 8345 and 12464 can be depended upon to carry some traffic, especially around weather report times
    Hydrographic messages are normally sent by ships every six hours – 0600z, 1200z, 1800z and 0000z, other traffic is often heard on the hour to a bit after the hour.

    Q and Z sigs
    http://www.radiotelegraphy.net/qsignals.htm
    http://www.radiotelegraphy.net/zsignals.htm

    NATO weather reporting guide
    https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Docum...ubs/jp3_59.pdf



    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

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    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    well fuck you too krup! lol

    just a tech. been looking into my general, but not too hard. got it right around the time my dad died and really havent gotten too much of my own stuff done since then.

    ive tried learning it on my own once, just memorizing all of the letters in order, i got pretty proficent up to about "g", then got distracted from that, i also tried the whole "tree thing" but that never got off the ground. looks like its laid out to make it easy, but i just found it confusing. last time i heard a lot of good about the lcwo method/site. i got a bit into that but didnt have the time to put into it.

    ill try to check that out on websdr and see if i can copy any of it. still no radio. i live in the middle of nowhere so not easy to find large gatherings of any interest, especially radio. therefore events as such are rare, so any one i went to all ive seen is 100 year old sets going for more than new prices.

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